Like many of the folks visiting the Recipezaar pages, I love to cook and am passionate about food and what it brings to our lives and relationships. I have a small catering company, but cook often and big, mainly as a creative outlet. I love to peek into other foodies pantries and learn from all the wonderful diverse and creative cooks out there. I was raised in a very small town, Eldorado, in Southern Illinois. My grandma, Aunts and neighbors were all great cooks, but I am mostly inspired by my Mom who always encouraged me with her simple and easy way of making everything she cooks taste delicious. I grew up eating the most basic family dishes that are still the root of where most of my "concoctions" come from. I love to feed people and feel that food is the perfect way to show someone that you care about them and that they are special. As my family is now grown, my boys have developed a whole new appreciation of the family meal and I know that they will take many happy memories with them throughout their lives because of our times in the kitchen.